In the Point of Pines there is no safe way to cross to Gibson Park from the area west of the Lynnway and Rt. 1A Children and others must literally dodge traffic on the route 1A Point of Pines off-ramp. The community and the administrators of the city have been grossly negligent in allowing this condition to persist for over 27 years…since the overpass was rebuilt years ago. Despite my calling it to the attention of the city council years ago and of late, and despite the recent death in our city of a pedestrian women.. No action to correct this problem has been undertaken or even suggested by our city fathers.
Allow me please to walk you through what I feel is a reasonable and necessary set of measures that are required and will go a great deal towards alleviating the problem, if not alleviating it all together. .
1) Install a brightly colored diamond shaped sign approx. 50 feet from the beginning of the off ramp. This sign out to have either reflectors or bright green coloring so as not to missed by motor vehicle operators. Sign ought to say “Caution Watch for Pedestrians” crossing ahead…or something to that effect.
2) Install a guard rail along the westerly side of the southerly off ramp from a point twenty feet ahead of the entrance to Gibson Park which is adjacent to and near to the off ramp roadway. This is the only entry point to the park from the west of Rt. 1A, where the majority of the community residence resides. This guardrail ought to extend along the sidewalk to the point of the stop sign, onto the Lynn way, at the approximate location of the intersection of Chamberlain Avenue and the Lynnway.
3) If possible the sidewalk in that same area ought to be widened, in fact needs to be, to allow for two way pedestrian traffic to and from the park area… pedestrian traffic there often includes cyclists, dog walkers, parents with strollers, and groups of more than one person.
4) Sidewalk ought to be brightly painted to ensure good visibility by approaching motorists using the 1A off ramp to access the Revere Beach recreation area, and to use the Boulevard to commute to the transit locations.
5) The point where Chamberlain Avenue meets the Lynnway.. Seems like the best logical point to install a cross walk across the Lynnway.. Wide, and brightly painted, to ensure visibility, along with either a plastic middle standings pedestrian crossing sign… or better a pedestrian crossing light, that people wanting use of the park during peak hours , or handicapped or slower moving people, might press to stop northbound traffic particularly and two traffic as well, thus ensuring a safe crossing… This is a logical point to cross since there is an existing stop sign at that location to stop traffic coming off the1A southbound off ramp, plus it connects at that point to the only sidewalk that directly accesses the only Gibson Park Easterly entrance, or access point.
These measures when put in place will not only reasonably ensure the safe crossing of our citizens…thus prevent a potential calamity. They will have the greater effect of raising self- esteem in the community, and for our children, legitimately, in so far as the very architecture of our neighbor will then speak to the concern for the safety and dignity of its residence. How humiliating, demeaning to the citizens, indeed neglectful to require children and residence wanting only to use the a recreational area in a neighborhood (paid for with tax dollars and open to the public)… to have to quite literally dodge high speed traffic, win area where there exists currently not even so much as a side walk cut, often littered with trash, with standing water often in the gutters due to the poor drainage, and cast in the shadow and darkness by the overpass ahead. This is psychologically demeaning, robbing citizens of their basic human dignity… it is abusive of citizens in that it neglects fundamental common sense safety concerns.. The current condition flies directly in the face of any other efforts, no matter how well intentioned they might be, of the city council and elected members of the city … to any other effort to address concerns around underperforming public safety.
The time has come to correct past malfeasance and neglect if this city is to have a bright or decent future…better late than never… The volume of traffic in this area will only be increasing.
Cost has been mentioned to me as a factor (excuse) in delaying or neglecting the performance of the city’s most obvious responsibilities of ensuring public safety…
If any one wishes to argue the point that these relatively minor improvements are necessary, let them argue that point with me after there is a traffic mishap wherein a pedestrian wishing to reach Gibson Park is struck by a motor vehicle. This is not an issue that government ought to respond to reactively. This is an issue that must be addressed proactively…Sorry! There is and has been no excuse for this oversight.
Another excuse I’ve heard is that city has been very committed to repairing the water system underground, etc. Fine and good, but public safety trumps that… Sorry.
This malfeasance hurts our city in other ways aside from the most obvious lack of concern for the safety of residence. Discerning people seeing this impropriety that might be considering purchasing a home and setting up a permanent residence in the Point of Pines area or along the Boulevard, might be less apt to do so, as concern for the safety of their families would certainly be of a primary concern, so this current malfeasant condition might well also have the adverse effect of making otherwise desirable properties less desirable, thus also potential lowering resale values, for folks desiring to sell their homes for various reasons. It might also hurt the tax base of the city, for any effect that improves property values, rather than denigrates them brings about also a higher assessment of the value of that property, and thus potentially more money to the city to manage its own affairs.
Recently the council has been talking about adding 21 new police officers… that costs a lot of money… while I support this effort and have long ago suggested the idea of foot patrols in every area of our city vs. police in cruisers… I strongly support and respect the efforts of law enforcement and make every effort to wherever and whenever possible to cooperate with law enforcement efforts… I like to see money spend to train and prepare our police in the best way possible,,, no money spend on training and education in this regard is ever wasted! I believe the quality of the police force is as important, if not more important , then the quantity of police, but that said… a onetime expense of installing clearly necessary even modicum pedestrian safety measures pales in comparison to the cost of adding policemen. So if there is money available to consider hiring 21 officers, then there is no excuse to not have money available to make the improvements that I are clearly needed.
Be it the neglect of one individual’s legitimate needs for safety or neglect of an entire community, amounts to a community or an individual with a scarred psyche. Neglect is a form of abuse experts in the field of psychology agree… it is time to stop the abuse of the tax payers and the citizens of the Point of Pines by the city fathers and others responsible for ensuring the public safety.
Thank you in advance as I am sure the problem will now be resolved, as I am confident that no one elected in state or city government, or whose paid job it is to ensure the public safety, will have any question that these measures need to be taken and taken soon. Because now, clearly aware of this grievous oversight … they certainly would not be able to sleep at night or gain reelection if a citizen were to be killed crossing the off ramp dodging traffic, a citizens who only wished to seek some rest and recreation at a park area.
Steven N. Bell